7 Reasons to Choose Durango Colorado for Alpine and Nordic Skiing

Durango Skiing offers great snow and meticulous grooming over a wide variety of terrain. The six ski areas around Durango have slopes for every skill level from beginner to expert. And the area is known as a destination for the whole family.

Durango’s modern airport provides easy access to this winter wonderlands. Numerous daily flights arrive from all over the United States through connections in Denver, Phoenix, and Dallas-Ft. Worth. Prices for lodging, lift tickets, and delicious dining are reasonable, while the mountains, forests, meadows, and desert offer unrivaled beauty and tranquility. Make your plans to visit Durango to unwind and play. And stay at Cascade Village, perfectly located just 1.5 miles from the heart of skiing at Purgatory and the Nordic Ski Trail which runs adjacently.



Bring Your Bunnies to Durango to Learn to Ski

The elevation of Durango airport is 6685 feet, and the base areas of many of the ski areas are at 8,000 feet. For flatlanders, this is a significant change and can impact your body. So, it makes sense to start out slowly in your skiing as your body adapts. If you are a once a year skier, you’ll also want to brush up on your techniques. And if the whole family has made the trip, the kids probably would like to start off on some slopes where they feel comfortable.

Here are three ski areas that cater to beginner and intermediate skiers:

  1. Chapman Hill Ski Area is in the City of Durango, located below Ft. Lewis College. Chapman is perfect for families with younger children. There are no ski lifts at Chapman. Instead, there are tow ropes that are easier for kids to master. The maximum vertical drop is just 700 feet from the top of Chapman Hill. A separate sledding and tubing hill is also available to entertain the kids. Chapman Hill is open for nighttime skiing and has an ice skating rink and a warming house with snacks.
  2. Hesperus Ski Area is another family-friendly area located just 12 miles west of Durango. It has 80 acres of skiable terrain, with 700 feet of vertical drop. It has one double chairlift, and nine downhill runs available for skiing and snowboarding. It has one beginner slope with a tow rope. It also has night skiing until 9:30 PM.
  3. Kendall Mountain Ski Area is near Silverton Mountain. While mom and dad are headed to Silverton with its expert runs, Kendall Mountain could be a perfect place for the children. It has three slopes, 11 trails, one lift but low-priced lift tickets.

Get Your Skis Tuned and Ready to Go

So, you’ve spent a couple of days with the kids, and they’ve made terrific progress. They are ready to come to one of the other ski areas and take lessons. Let’s leave the bunnies behind and look for some black and blue trails.

  1. Purgatory Ski Area has been selected as one of the “7 Great Mountains to Ski” by Ski Magazine. It has everything a skier of any level could want. It has Alpine and Nordic skiing, snowboarding, tubing, snowshoeing, even sleigh riding. Just 25 miles north of Durango it spreads over 2,400 acres with more than 1,300 skiable acres. The base is at 8,800 feet, and the summit is 10,800 feet. It has 85 downhill runs balanced between skill levels and 40 miles of cross-country trails. Its 125 acres of steep tree-skiing have a vertical drop of 1200 feet. The ten chairlifts have a combined capacity of 15,000 people per hour. With every turn on your downhill run, there is a beautiful view of the San Juan Mountains. Purgatory is in Cascade Village’s backyard, just a mile away. Cascade Village is centrally located to all the ski mountains and with a complimentary shuttle to Purgatory and its own ski shop, it is the obvious choice to be your Durango ski headquarters.
  2. San Juan Ski Company shares the mountain with Purgatory and offers guided ski tours only. They move their skiers up the mountain to the summit with Snowcats. This is backcountry skiing at its best. The runs navigate treed slopes, bowls, chutes, ridges, and glades. The Snowcats run up and down the mountain all day providing 8 to 12 runs for those expert skiers who have elected to ski with these guides.
  3. Silver Mountain Skiing has no groomed trails, just black diamond skiing in a guided group. The base elevation is 10,400 feet. One chairlift tops out at 12,300 feet. Helicopters are used to reach the peak at 13,487 feet. No crowds, just you against the mountain on the highest peaks in North America.


Cascade Village is Your Base

Go to our “Accommodations” tab to reserve lodging in one of over 90 condominiums for a skiing vacation that the whole family will enjoy.  From bunnies to experts everyone will find plenty of skiing. Watch your children increase their skills and enjoyment of skiing and make one of our privately-owned condominiums at Cascade Village your base of operations. Prepare your own meals, swim in our indoor heated pool, relax in our spa and hot tubs and get ready for tomorrow. Ask us to recommend one of our fine local restaurants.

See you on the mountain.